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Telling to Live embodies the vision that compelled Latina feminists to engage their differences and find common ground. Its contributors reflect varied class, religious, ethnic, racial, linguistic, sexual, and national backgrounds. Yet in one way or another they are all professional producers of testimonios--or life stories--whether as poets, oral historians, literary scholars, ethnographers, or psychologists. Through coalitional politics, these women have forged feminist political stances about generating knowledge through experience. Reclaiming testimonio as a tool for understanding the complexities of Latina identity, they compare how each made the journey to become credentialed creative thinkers and writers. Telling to Live unleashes the clarifying power of sharing these stories. The complex and rich tapestry of narratives that comprises this book introduces us to an intergenerational group of Latina women who negotiate their place in U. S. society at the cusp of the twenty-first century. These are the stories of women who struggled to reach the echelons of higher education, often against great odds, and constructed relationships of sustenance and creativity along the way. The stories, poetry, memoirs, and reflections of this diverse group of Puerto Rican, Chicana, Native American, Mexican, Cuban, Dominican, Sephardic, mixed-heritage, and Central American women provide new perspectives on feminist theorizing, perspectives located in the borderlands of Latino cultures. This often heart wrenching, sometimes playful, yet always insightful collection will interest those who wish to understand the challenges U. S. society poses for women of complex cultural heritages who strive to carve out their own spaces in the ivory tower. Contributors. Luz del Alba Acevedo, Norma Alarcn, Celia Alvarez, Ruth Behar, Rina Benmayor, Norma E. Cant, Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Gloria Holgun Cudraz, Liza Fiol-Matta, Yvette Flores-Ortiz, Ins Hernndez-Avila, Aurora Levins Morales, Clara Lomas, Iris Ofelia Lpez, Mirtha N. Quintanales, Eliana Rivero, Caridad Souza, Patricia Zavella
During a series of sojourns in a town outside San Luis Potosi, Mexico, anthropologist Ruth Behav gathered the extensive oral history of a 60-year-old street peddler whom she calls Esperanza. Her account of Esperanza's life story reads almost like a novel. Behar examines Esperanza's history for themes relating to gender, history, and mythology. After a life of extraordinary hardship Esperanza finds a kind of rebirth through her involvement with healing and witchcraft.
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